New Years day roll over activation 2019
Our summer holiday this year put us at Lake Taupo over the new years period as we spent some time boating then slowly traveling north with camper in tow heading to the very top of the North island. Knowing an activation was in order for the new years UTC roll over I had previously organised drive up access to this handy summit and we booked a couple of nights nearby at a motor camp in the Wairakei geothermal area. We arrived at the camp early on new years day, quickly setup on our site then continued on a short distance up the highway to our destination. From the farm gate the drive up Maroanui takes only 15 minutes or so, perhaps add a little more time opening and closing the many gates and temporary electric fence barriers as this is a very busy working dairy farm. Although 897m above sea level the actual height gained from the farm gate to summit is only around 300m. On my last activation of Maroanui we ventured up the road in our little Corolla and that wasn’t ideal, so I was happy to be in the 4×4 this time making it an easy drive to the summit.
Although the day started cloudy the sun was soon out and heating up nicely. Local hams had been up just prior to our visit carrying out work on the local repeater. The lawns were freshly mowed and the place looked very tidy.
It didn’t take long to get set up on the summit in the same location as my last activation there, using the handy concrete blocks at the fence line as my shack table. Activation wise I was soon making summit to summits with the other ZL’s activating around the country, the bands were (as is the norm lately) a little difficult for me, but for the morning session I managed six S2S, five of those were to ZL stations and the other was VK2IO, it would transpire that Gerard, VK2IO would be the only VK S2S I would have through the entire activation, such were the conditions for me on my summit that day. My ZL S2S’s were on 5MHz and 7MHz with the one VK on 21MHz as nothing could be heard on the 20 meter band from VK. After UTC roll over at 1.00pm ZL time I quite quickly bagged another four summit to summits with ZL stations, two of those were on 14MHz and one on 2meters with Warren ZL2AJ The other station, ZL3AB was on 7MHz. A good stream of VK chasers followed on 21MHz including my one and only CW QSO for the day, but any more summit to summits proved hard to find. Overall though, it was a rewarding and enjoyable day spent in a lovely location and the added bonus for myself was finally reaching “Shack Sloth” status on this day. Thank you to the chasers and activators on the day.
We packed up an hour and a half or so after roll over when it was apparent there were no more summit to summits to be had. We were soon back at camp and looking forward to continuing our adventure north the next day.
Summit – Maroanui – ZL1/WK-036
Height – 897m ASL
Access – Access permission can be requested through the local Ham radio branch and, if granted, there is a sign in and sign out procedure now in place on entering and exiting the farm. The road to the summit can be a little rough in places depending on recent weather conditions and is more suited to 4×4 or at least something with good ground clearance and traction. Your vehicle will inevitably leave here with lots of cow poo on its underside as its impossible to avoid! This would be an easy one to walk up if required.
Cell and internet – Good Vodafone reception, other providers should work ok as well.